The De-Evolution of Advertising

De-Evolution of Advertising

In the beginning… Advertising was a word of mouth business. One person would communicate to another about a crazy new innovation like fire, the wheel, etc. and that person would pass it to the next and on and on. This communication made it possible for the world to grow and overcome obstacles improving the quality of life.

Advertising then became more clever with the advent of new technologies and studies. Research was done on keywords, unique selling propositions, primal behavior and targeted manifesto’s making it considerably easier to convert a potential consumer into a buyer. Combined with television, print, billboards, etc. Thus advertising had become a game of numbers. The companies that could afford to get their message in front of as many people as possible usually succeeded due to brand recognition and superior marketing while the smaller companies that couldn’t keep up with the cost incurred from the design and placement of traditional media were left without a way to communicate to the masses and thus typically suffered.

Unfortunately though, people don’t like to be generalized and herded like cattle (Actually, I doubt cows do either but that’s a whole separate topic) and have begun to think for themselves again. This has resulted in our landscape changing again. Free and cost-effective tools now exist that allow the general populace to choose who is marketing to them and how. The consumer no longer wishes to have brands forced down their throats. Not when they can decide how they receive their information.

E-commerce sites can make the smallest shop appear the size of any Super-Target, the advent of TiVo has allowed consumers to rid themselves of the majority of TV advertising and search engines have allowed people to research product and news of choice bypassing print and TV for the most part. Social Media has brought the advertising model full circle and now allow people to once again communicate their biased or unbiased opinions allowing the consumer to once again be in control of the products that will succeed or fail, determine which news is important, and support a local business in a overcrowded market.

I guess all that remains to be seen is if the smaller businesses take advantage of this situation or not. Smaller businesses are typically late adapters due to financial restraints, lack of education and lingering doubt. Without the prohibitive costs to deter you can you really justify missing this opportunity because you were unwilling to learn and adapt?


5 Responses to “The De-Evolution of Advertising”

  1. Good post, makes a lot of sense with the current mediascape. I feel your pain!

  2. Good stuff. I agree with you completely. Advertising has taken a huge hit in terms of effectiveness and converting prospects into loyal customers. People insist on experiencing brands as opposed to just “taking a chance” on what an advertisement says. I think the more companies allow their brand to be experienced, the more we’ll see better conversion rates. Apple’s products sell and keep selling because you can fully experience their brand without being bothered or coaxed into a sale. It took me at least 4 years to really vest my trust into a brand like Apple (not to mention a long long series of Apple store visits).

  3. “…people don’t like to be generalized and herded like cattle…and have begun to think for themselves again.”

    Although I agree with your overall argument, I disagree with that statement. People are as much like cows as they ever were…even more so. In fact, we have been lulled into believing we are easily able to pick and choose what we want to hear or not, even though there is a barrage of advertising noise coming at us from every place imaginable. It seeps into our consciousness.
    The problem now is that there are too many products to choose from. Facing a wall of similar products, all with different promises, smells, tastes, colors, etc., the consumer panics and decides to go with something that is familiar to them, rather than trying something new. They would prefer to be told what to buy, rather than choosing something over another. I only say this because of the many, many times I see people mulling over 10 different types of shampoos, deodorants, and even food items…only to go with their first choice.

  4. In response to Sharie:

    First off great response! I do think that a specific group of people are more prone to it and may even like to stick with the most common products but I still believe that they don’t “like” to be generalized and herded.

    I also agree that the market is saturated with product but I think that the way people communicate through social media is changing things to a degree. Instead of buying based on what is perceived as the most popular, a lot of people are asking other consumers for recommendations. This changes the landscape by showing product developers that a product can’t stand on it’s brand alone. There has to be a competitive element of quality involved now because the consumers have been given a voice.

    Traditional media didn’t leave room to question it simply made a statement and I believe that the engagement provided by social media can begin improving our quality of living.

  5. Great article. It’s true that advertising has come full circle. Those who don’t adapt will be left out.


    daniel jenkins | fashion photographer
    high quality images on time and under budget.

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